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Israel says sanctions must target Iran energy sector
February 22, 2010
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues on his campaign for international sanctions to be imposed against Iran’s energy sector.
“We must prohibit Iranian oil exports and imports to Iran of refined oil products. No other sanctions will be effective,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem (Al-Quds) at a meeting of delegates from the Jewish Agency, an organization that encourages Jewish immigration to Israel.
Netanyahu went so far as to say the UN Security Council should be sidestepped if it cannot agree on the move.
“We have arrived at a point where the international community has to decide if it seriously plans to stop Iran’s nuclear program,” he added.
Netanyahu’s effort to stop Iran’s nuclear program — which Tehran says is peaceful — comes while Israel is reportedly the sole possessor of nuclear arsenals in the Middle East with 200 nuclear warheads.
On a visit to Russia last week, Netanyahu insisted on the need for “biting sanctions that have the power to influence the regime, bitter sanctions that have to hit, in a convincing way, the oil industry, imports, exports and refining.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry, however, rebuffed the call and announced that Moscow is against imposing sanctions on Iran, noting that Russia has always favored a diplomatic solution with regards to Iran’s nuclear program.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow was against imposing “crippling sanctions” on Iran.
The US, Israel and some Western countries accuse Iran of seeking atomic weapons under the guise of its nuclear energy program.
Iran denies that it seeks to build an atomic bomb and says it only wants to enrich uranium for civilian purposes such as generating electricity and producing medical isotopes.
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